Bank Street Coffee House embraces village center spirit
Published 12:16 pm, Monday, October 19, 2009
Ms. Ferrante and Mr. Landi are the new owners of the Bank Street Coffee House. Since taking ownership of the popular spot Sept. 4, they have made changes they say enhance the warmth and welcoming atmosphere the coffeehouse has been known for over the years.
New couches, comfortable chairs and handcrafted wooden tables have been added to entice patrons to sit and sip, and either unwind or rev up for their day.
"It has always been a personal interest of mine to have a coffeehouse," Ms. Ferrante said. "We have a restaurant in New York City that Ralph runs. I was co-owner of a yoga studio in Brookfield. We wanted a business in the New Milford, where we live, that we could share."
Hours have been expanded at Bank Street, going later into the evening. Opening seven days a week at 7 a.m., the coffeehouse closes Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. , Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. , and Sunday at 5 p.m.
"We learned that a lot of people who work downtown don't get out of work until 6 p.m., " Mr. Landi said. "I was closing up one day at 6 p.m. just as a young woman who works at the jeweler's on Main Street was coming to the door. I said, this can't happen. And we extended our hours."
From homemade vegetarian soups, to whole wheat rolls and breads, Ms. Ferrante is gradually adding the option of healthy-choice offerings to the coffeehouse menu.
"We want to become a dessert destination," she said. "We have a baker on staff and offer sweet desserts and rich coffee drinks."
Working hand in hand with other businesses in the village center is another goal of the new coffeehouse owners.
Bank Street Theater has a discount movie night on Tuesday nights so staying open now until 7 p.m. gives coffeehouse patrons a chance to have a coffee or tea, and dessert or grab a light meal, then go to the show, Mr. Landi said.
Retail items for sale at the coffeehouse will also be expanded. Ms. Ferrante plans to offer a variety of tea and coffee-related products and utensils.
As an addition to their staff, Ms. Ferrante and Mr. Landi's 10-year-old son, Ryan, will often be on hand at the coffeehouse, helping clear tables and pitching in after school.
"We plan to expand the coffeehouse atmosphere with poetry readings and live music," Ms. Ferrante said. "We'd like Bank Street Coffee House to become a destination. We're putting in a large community bulletin board where people can see what events are being offered in town."